Damon Martinez is an Albuquerque native with family roots spanning over 10 generations in New Mexico. He was educated first at St. Pius X High School and then at the University of New Mexico, where he earned his B.A., M.B.A, and J.D.
While in law school, Damon had the opportunity to prosecute under supervision a number of cases involving drunk driving and sexual assault. He realized he had the power to be a voice for the vulnerable and make an impact in the quest for justice.. After graduating, Damon worked as a Special Assistant District Attorney, then went to Washington, D.C. to serve as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman. In 1996, he returned to New Mexico as an Assistant Attorney General. When Tom Udall was elected to Congress a few years later, Damon followed him to D.C. to serve as his Legislative Director. In 2000, Damon started his career as a federal prosecutor in the Las Cruces branch office as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney.
Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, Damon enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve and became a Judge Advocate. Damon has continued to serve in the armed forces for the past 15 years and holds the rank of Lt. Colonel.
After more than a decade in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico, Damon was nominated for U.S. Attorney by President Obama, unanimously confirmed by the Senate, and sworn in on October 17, 2014.
As U.S. Attorney, Damon leveraged resources to prioritize a heroin and opiate program that aimed at reducing the number of opioid related deaths in New Mexico. Damon also fought against gender discrimination and sexual assault by conducting investigations on college campuses. Also during his tenure as U.S. Attorney, Damon focused on targeting the state’s “Worst of the Worst” offenders, prioritizing them for federal prosecutions and working with state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to identify dangerous, repeat criminals.
On Friday, March 10th, 2017, Damon was one of 46 U.S. Attorneys around the country fired by President Donald Trump, ending 34 months of service as the top federal prosecutor for New Mexico. On July 10th, he declared his candidacy to represent the 1st Congressional District for New Mexico. Damon has three sons and lives with his wife, Holly, in Albuquerque.